Saturday, November 03, 2007

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

"May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you're dead."

This Irish toast is the origin of the title for Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and sets the moral tone. Sidney Lumet masterfully sculpts this film of two brothers involved in a crime gone awry. Bit, by bit, Lumet feeds us the story, with a time-fold technique that makes you think, and pay attention to details. The brothers are flawed and ugly. Prone to bad decisions, haunted by troubled pasts. They attempt a robbery out of desperation, and it has dire circumstances. Building high emotion with lighting, camera angles and slow build scenes, this film is one hell of a ride.

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